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Old 01-10-2014, 07:28 AM   #11
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What ChooChooMan said- we always camped with electric hookups and ran a small electric heater. You couldn't do that if you're running off of the battery but if you have hookups, it is a great way to conserve propane.

Unfortunately, we didn't camp in cold so I can't tell you that you'll likely go through "X" amount of propane in an evening.

One thing that many pop-up owners recommend is using "pugs" - Popup Gizmos. They are supposed to do an incredible job of keeping the heat in in the winter and the heat out in the summer.

I think he's running a "free shipping" sale right now.

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Old 01-10-2014, 11:58 AM   #12
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On the propane use question - we could go all summer (20+ nights) on one tank for running the fridge and stove. We typically didn't camp when it was below 40 at night, so we used the furnace on a very limited basis, but if its only taking the chill off at night, I would venture a guess that one tank would last you for a week long trip. The biggest trick with having only one tank is knowing how much you have in the tank. And then timing it to get a refill when its empty. I used to pull the tank in the fall and hook it up to the gas grill at home to empty it, then start with a full tank in the spring.


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Old 01-10-2014, 01:44 PM   #13
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I was so overwhelmed when I first started RVing and even considered selling the trailer before taking my first trip. No husband to help me figure things out nor did I have friends with RVs either. I was all on my own for sure. Take it one step at a time and only worry about what you need for the first trip.

I didn't think of it but a bit of driveway camping would had been a big help. By the time I did get out of the gate with my first trip I didn't remember much from my PDI.

Take a weekend trip to a local campground. Most RVers are pretty friendly and willing to help. Once you say that you are new they will drop everything to help. Once again you don't need to know everything just yet. Another suggestion would to keep things simple until you determine your camping style.

Ditto about using a small electric heater with full hookups.
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Old 01-10-2014, 01:55 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by ependydad View Post
What ChooChooMan said- we always camped with electric hookups and ran a small electric heater. You couldn't do that if you're running off of the battery but if you have hookups, it is a great way to conserve propane.
packncycle, since you live in California and since only a handful of state parks have any sites with electrical, i doubt you'll be able to use an electric heater. unless you're camping at that expensive private campground across from El Capitan. El Cap, Refugio or Gaviota SB have NO sites with electric.

but since it won't be that cold, it would take days of running the furnace to use up the propane.
you'll use up all the battery power in one night, before you'd ever come close to all the propane.
you need to worry more about battery power, IF you are dry camping, which is what you'd be doing at El Cap, Refugio or Gaviota.

i lived in SoCal for over 30 years and spent a lot of time in Ventura and Santa Barbara.

which campground are you planning on staying at?
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Old 01-10-2014, 05:42 PM   #15
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I camped with a pop-up for 11 years - after about 5 years of tent camping. Mostly dry camping at the race tracks for the 1st 5 or 6 years. I highly recommend adding a second propane tank. Seems like the tank always runs out in the middle of the night when you're running the furnace. Much easier to just switch over to the 2nd tank than to have to rush out & get a new one. (Make sure you replace the empty one the first chance you get.) I used to take a spare battery with me also & made sure it was charged up before I left home. I used a generator for AC power at the tracks. I'm sure most parks & campgrounds will frown upon those.

As for learning the ropes, there will be a lot of trial & error. Heck, I was still learning things about my PUP when I traded it a few months ago. Forums like this one and Pop-up Explorer are a great resource. Lots of helpful folks who have already made most of the mistakes that can be made & can tell you how to avoid them (or recover from them). LOL!

Good luck with your PUP! I loved mine. (But now I love my Roo 21SS Hybrid. )
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Old 01-10-2014, 06:05 PM   #16
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We started with a used popup and had no one to show us the ropes so we camped in our driveway the first night with no electric hooked up just battery power. This way you can see exactly what will and what won't work and if something happens you can just go inside until morning.The next night we hooked up the electric and found how things worked that way. If you want to test the propane and the battery you can just spend the whole weekend in it on battery(which will die long before you run out of propane). Part of the fun is just digging in and learning by trial and error. Enjoy!

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Old 01-10-2014, 08:42 PM   #17
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Welcome to the forum and congratulations on your purchase.
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Old 01-10-2014, 10:41 PM   #18
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Newbie cant wait to camp but a bit overwhelmed :)

I agree with the at home camp out for a night or two as it lets you try everything out and a chance to pack it all up once. Things to bring: toilet paper, extra fuses, and a plan to recharge the battery. Oh and make sure heater works- mine didn't first time out.

I just traded in my HW and it seems so long ago from that first trip that I can't remember all the stuff we ran back to town to get.

Remember, have fun and meet some nice people.

Forgot to say water regulator- didn't have that one and was stressed one whole trip on why every water fitting was leaking.
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Old 01-10-2014, 10:48 PM   #19
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I agree with it, too- unfortunately I don't have that luxury here. I could either have it on quite a hill in the driveway or parked on the road.Click image for larger version

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My neighbors always thought I was batty as I would set it up on the road to fiddle around inside on it.
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Old 01-11-2014, 01:36 AM   #20
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You guys all hit all the aspects I was thinking about.. ok Im convinced on getting the 2nd LP tank for sure. I will bring an electric heater and yes the mattress does heat up. Im looking forward to checking that out. Also thank you for the Pupupgizmos.. never heard of that but that's very intriquing and I bet it does work. I may look into them down the line.

One of you asked about where I plan to stay in Santa Barbara.. it is an expensive place than I would tend to go to, but for the first time I figured why not go plush while Im trying to figure stuff out. Its OceanMesa. They do have all the hook ups and apparently most or many of their sites overlook the ocean. It is close to El Capitan. I did stay at El Capitan in their little cabins one year and that was a lot of fun and very nice and I used to tent camp there before they changed the camp grounds to all the cabins.

A friend is going with me who also knows nothing about RV's. We should have a lot of fun I had to laugh at one the messages I read where the person was so overwhelmed that they were ready to sell their RV before they got it out. I have had similar thoughts. But a appreciate all of your encouragement. I will hang in there. Sounds like after the huge learning curve, it gets much better. I cant wait. I

I dont think I want to carry an extra battery.. trying to keep weight down. The weight of the RV dry weight is about 2300lbs and the papers say I can add up to about 600lbs but with 2 LP tanks, water (if I carry it), battery and other things, I dont want to max it out. My car is a Highlander so it says I can tow up to 5,000 lbs but I dont want to max it out either. I can see from what everyone has said that its the battery to be more concerned about. I can see that. I dont know if the Solar panels are any good. I hear they are very low powered and only help batteries maintain but if using items that put a lot of drainage on the batter, I dont see how they would really work and for the price, it seems kind of pricey. What do you guys do if you dont carry an extra battery if you do a lot of dry camping?

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